A YouTube channel that makes celebrity deepfakes just put Tom Cruise’s face onto Christian Bale’s body in the 2000 film “American Psycho.”
At first, it’s difficult to tell the difference between the deepfake and the original. After all, Christian Bale was inspired by Cruise’s “intense friendliness with nothing behind the eyes” when developing his portrayal of the character Patrick Bateman, according to a 2009 interview with the magazine Black Book.
The deepfake video — which consists almost entirely of an extremely not-safe-for-work sex scene — is a bizarre example of how easy it’s getting to make realistic-looking videos that put people in situations that never happened.
Here’s the video. Again, it shows explicit adult content from the film.
As deepfake technology emerged, many warned that it would let any creep with a modicum of technical know-how create porn of celebrities or people they know in real life. In fact, a short-lived, nonconsensual-porn-generating app called DeepNude was built to do just that.
What we didn’t account for were art projects that exist in a confusing, unsettling gray area. Yes, a celebrity’s face has been stitched into a video of a sex act — but that video is from a major, well-known motion picture. One takeaway: we’ll probably be grappling with the implications of the tech for years.
More on celebrity deepfakes: Someone Deepfaked Keanu Reeves Into “Sesame Street”